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The Cognitive ecology of Goffin's cockatoos 

This project aims at integrating experiments and fieldwork, to establish a better understanding of the ecological drivers promoting the cognition of Goffin’s cockatoos. We thereby investigate the foraging ecology and behavior in their natural habitat and provide short-term caught individuals in our release aviary with tasks to assess their propensity for object play, neophobia, and tooling skills. 

PI: Mark O’Hara

Funding agency: FWF – Austrian Science Fund

Tool use and manufacture in the Goffin’s cockatoo

Tool manufacture can be highly telling when studying goal-directed behaviour. We studied it in the Goffin’s cockatoo. After verifying that the mechanism underlying their abilities was not simply copying known tools, we studied their flexibility and goal directedness as well as their appreciation of tool functionality to determine if their performance met the criteria for flexible tool manufacture.

PI: Alice Auersperg

Funding agency: FWF – Austrian Science Fund

Innovative Problem solving in the Goffin’s cockatoo

New behaviours that appear in a population are important for adapting to novel challenges. Here, we designed an ‘innovation arena to compare wild and captive Goffins and to uncover inventive strategies. We also looked at tool innovations. We showed that Goffins flexibly innovated the manufacture of different tools depending on task nature and analyzed their ability to innovate sequential tool use. 

PI: Alice Auersperg

Funding agency: FWF – Austrian Science Fund

The innovation problem: factors influencing innovative tool use in human infants and cockatoos

Tools innovations affect the evolution of technology. Comparing distantly related species allows to investigate evolutionary roots. Here, we joined knowledge from developmental psychology and cognition to compare tool innovation in infants and Goffins, including ontogeny, motivation and cognitive mechanisms. We are testing specific hypothesis drawing on similarities and differences already known. 

PI: Alice Auersperg , Co-PIs Sarah Beck & Sabine Tebbich

Funding agency: Vienna Science and Technology Funds (WWTF)

YouTube Video on WWTF Projektes CS18023 !!! 


Innovative tool use and problem solving in a parrot

To acquire an integrated understanding of the Goffins tool use we adopt four different levels of analysis: 1, To study our model’s feeding ecology in its natural habitat. 2. To study cognitive development. 3. To compare flexibility and tool use within the Goffin’s closest relatives and 4. To study perceptional and cognitive mechanisms underlying tool use using a series of experimental designs 

PI: Alice Auersperg

Funding agency: FWF – Austrian Science Fund (START)

The Latest Publications (2020–) 

Harrington, KJ; Folkertsma, R; Auersperg, AMI; Biondi, L; Lambert, ML(2024): Innovative problem solving by wild falcons. Curr Biol. 2024; 34(1):190-195.e3

O’Hara, M; Auersperg, AMI; Prawiradilaga, DM; Huber, L; Mioduszewska, B(2024): A novel feeding platform design for behavioral research on wild Tanimbar corellas (Cacatua goffiniana). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2024; 11: 1275949

Auersperg, A(2023): Have we met? New insights into the role of head and body cues in the visual recognition of conspecifics in gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus). J Comp Psychol. 2023; 137(4):209-211

Mioduszewska, B., O’Hara, M., Rheindt, F. E., & Auersperg, A. M.I. (2023). Dynamic object–fruit combinations by introduced Tanimbar corellas (Cacatua goffiniana) in Singapore. Behaviour1(aop), 1-20.

Osuna-Macaro, A., O’Hara, M., Folkertsma, R., Tebbich, S., Beck, S., Auersperg, A.M.I. (2023) Flexible tool set transport in Goffin’s cockatoos. Current Biology (In Press)

Rössler, T.; Auersperg, A.M.I. (2023) Recent Developments in Parrot Cognition: A Quadrennial Update. Animal Cognition (In Press)

Ibanez, P.; Auersperg, A.M.I., Griffith, A., Tebbich, S. (2023) Ratcheting up tool innovation in Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana): The effect of contextually diverse prior experience" Ethology.

Baum, M; Schattenhofer, L; Rössler, T; Osuna-Mascaró, A; Auersperg, A.M.I; Kacelnik, A; Brock, O. (2022): Yoking-Based Identification of Learning Behavior in Artificial and Biological Agents. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 13499 LNAI: 67-78.-16th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, SAB; September 20–23, 2022; Cergy-Pontoise, France. (ISBN: 978-3-031-16769-0 ) 

Mioduszewska, B, Auersperg, A.M.I. O‘Hara, M (2022) Tooling undercover: The foraging ecology of wild Goffin's cockatoos. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. (45) 101118.

Osuna-Mascaro, A., Mundry, R., Sabine Tebbich, Sarah R. Beck, Auersperg, A.M.I (2022) Innovative composite tool use by Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana). Scientific Reports (12)1510.

Osuna-Mascaró, A. J., & Auersperg, A. M. (2021). Current understanding of the “insight” phenomenon across disciplines. Frontiers in Psychology12, 791398.

Lambert, P., Stiegler, A., Rössler, T., Lambert, M., Auersperg, A.M.I. (2021) Goffin’s cockatoos discriminate objects based on weight alone. Biology Letters 17(9), 20210250 

O‘Hara, M, Mioduszewska, B, Mundry, R, Yohanna, Haryoko, T, Rachmatika, R, Prawiradilaga, DM, Huber, L, Auersperg, AMI. (2021) Wild Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) flexibly manufacture and use tool sets. Current Biology 31, 1-9. 

Laumer, I., Massen, J. Böhm, A., Böhm, P., Hayaki, A., Auersperg, A.M.I. (2021) Individual Goffin’s cockatoos show flexible targeted helping in a tool transfer task. Plos ONE 16(6), e0253416. 

Borowicz, K, O’Hara, M, Carminitho, C, Auersperg, A.M.I., Osvath, M. (2021) Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) can solve a novel problem after conflicting past experiences. Frontiers in Psychology,12. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.694719  

Wakonig, B., Auersperg, A.M.I. O’Hara, M. (2021) String pulling in the Goffin’s cockatoo. Learning & Behaviour 49(1), 124-136 

Colbourne, J.A.D., Auersperg, A.M.I., Lambert, M.L., Huber, L. & Völter C.J. (2021) Extending the Reach of Tooling Theory. A Neurocognitive and Phylogenetic Perspecitive. Topics in Cognitive Science 

Laumer, I., Jelbert, S., Taylor, A., Rössler, T. Auersperg, A.M.I. (2020) Object manufacture based on a memorized template: Goffin’s cockatoos attend to different model features. Animal Cognition. 24, 457-470.  

Rössler, T., Mioduszewska, B., O’Hara, M., Huber, L, Prawiradilaga, D, Auersperg, A.M.I. (2020) Using an Innovation Arena to compare wild-caught and laboratory Goffin´s cockatoos. Scientific Reports 10(1) 1-12. 

Auersperg, A.M.I., Schwing, R., Mioduzewska, B., O’Hara, M., Huber, L. (2020) Do Puffin’s use tools? PNAS. 117(22), 11859-11859. 

Weitere Publikationen von Alice Auersperg finden sie hier